Shannon Ingram's Place

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Location: Orange County/CA

Musings of a woman who left her corporate career to become a caregiver for elderly parents, wrote a book and found her way back to corporate - with love, instead of fear, leading the way. Now working at my Alma Mater, UC Irvine, as Marketing and Communications Director for the School of Biological Sciences.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine Scrooge

If you listen to morning news shows and read women's magazines the way I do, then you know that this past weekend was the time to celebrate Valentine's Day, which is actually today. I've been a "Valentine Scrooge" this year, mostly because of moving the weekend before and having so much unpacking still to do.

Instead of thinking about hearts and flowers this weekend, I found myself thinking "Hallmark Holiday" - and not wanting to spend any money on chocolate or cards. One thing weighing heavily on my mind was the loss of about 20 pairs of shoes that I love - mostly black and brown ones that I wear to work frequently. I looked everywhere for that box, including at my new storage unit. By Saturday morning, I was feeling pressured to go out and buy some new black shoes for a "cocktail attire" party we were attending that night. I even considered bagging the party and staying home in front of the TV to watch a poker tournament. That's about as close as I wanted to be to hearts.

Wonder of wonders, when I returned from the car wash at noon, there was a big, open box in my bedroom. SHOES! Glorious shoes! My heart leapt with delight! The box had been labeled "GARAGE" and that's where my husband found it, in a stack of boxes of tools and electrical stuff. I almost cried, I was so overcome with joy!

In that "Cinderella glass-slipper moment," holding a sexy black patent leather heel with a sling back, it occurred to me that my attachment to those shoes was somehow appropriate for a "Hallmark Holiday," because it was truly materialistic. And it felt really good, just the way the chocolate always does when I taste it on Valentine's Day! I didn't feel Scroogy any more!! I wanted to celebrate love and more LOVE!

Today, I wish everyone a very happy Valentine's Day, even if your Valentine happens to be your cat or dog, or maybe your favorite pair of shoes. Pass the chocolate!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rabbit's Foot

The Year of the Rabbit is back. That's MY year. When I was younger, I always loved the idea of being a "bunny" in the Chinese calendar. Most of my friends from grade school - Marianne, Terry, Laurie, Vicki, Dru, Linda - are part of my "bunny pack" because we were born in the same year.

I found this when I googled Year of the Rabbit:

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

Well, that seems mostly true, except for the "fond of gossip" part, although I can think of more than one person who would debate that with me. My two husbands have been a less-than-compatible Rat and Tiger, in that order. Who needs compatibility? I prefer funny, intelligent and dependable.

I've always thought of myself as lucky. It's as if I've had an invisible rabbit's foot in my pocket for most of my life. Maybe it's my Rabbit birth year! Whatever, I did learn that the whole rabbit's foot thing is pretty gross. In North American folklore, it's only the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a lucky charm. And the rabbit that the left hind foot comes from has to have been shot or captured in a cemetery on the night of a new moon or on Friday the 13th. PUHLEEZE! What's lucky about that? So much for the image of a sweet, fuzzy little lucky charm!

I'll stick to lucky because I'm a Chinese Year of the Rabbit girl. Just don't call me Bunny.